Pakistan today slammed as “completely unjustified” the US’ designation of individuals supporting the right of “self-determination” of Kashmiris as terrorists, a day after America declared Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin as a “global terrorist”. “Pakistan shall continue to extend political, diplomatic and moral support for the just struggle of the Kashmiri people for the realisation of the right to self-determination and the peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with UN Security Council Resolutions,” the Foreign Ministry said here in a statement.
“The designation of individuals supporting the Kashmiri right to self-determination as terrorists is completely unjustified,” a ministry spokesperson said in a statement without naming Salahuddin. The “70-year long indigenous struggle of Kashmiris remains legitimate,” the spokesperson claimed. “The gross and systematic violations of human rights of the Kashmiri people that have been recorded and reported by independent human rights bodies is a reality,” he said. The Kashmiris remain undeterred and unbowed, he said.
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“Pakistan has demonstrated a longstanding commitment of combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. The people and government of Pakistan have rendered immense sacrifices in both blood and treasure to end this scourge, which has been acknowledged by the international community,” the spokesperson added. The US yesterday declared Salahuddin as a “global terrorist”, dealing a major blow to Pakistan. In a notification, the State Department said Salahuddin, who hails from Kashmir and is based in Pakistan for the last 28 years, “has committed, or poses a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism.”
The US took the step against the militant group’s 71- year-old head, whose original name is Mohammed Yusuf Shah, as he had “vowed to block any peaceful resolution to the Kashmir conflict, threatened to train more Kashmiri suicide bombers, and vowed to turn the Kashmir Valley into a graveyard for Indian forces”.